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Seed Starting Time V

Chris (6a NY)
6 years ago
last modified: 6 years ago

Chapter V: Near Full Swing

Most of us are close to, if not already in, full gear for planting out spring and summer veggies. Some have even started their early harvests.

Pictures are encouraged :-)

Comments (148)

  • LoneJack Zn 6a, KC
    6 years ago

    Wow, very nice looking garden Signy! You have done a lot of work in a short time. And yes you will have enough zucchini to feed an army soon as long as the SVB and squash bugs don't invade.

  • Allison NWNJ 6a
    6 years ago

    What a lovely garden you have there, Signy. I'm envious of all that space.

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  • Chris (6a NY)
    Original Author
    6 years ago

    Wow - that's an incredible garden!

  • Peter (6b SE NY)
    6 years ago

    That is incredible, thanks for sharing!

    I've got to say, the Green Magic heads were small, but that was possibly the best tasting broccoli I have ever had. Especially in a garlic scape pesto sauce :)

  • OldDutch (Zone 4 MN)
    6 years ago

    Peter, if you prune the side shoots down to a single one, that one will produce heads nearly but not quite as big as the original central one, and that one will generally produce additional shoots; so you can repeat that process a number of times on the same plant; so you can keep harvest coming from the same set of plants nearly all summer. It does pay to keep the lowest new shoot and don't forget to keep watered and fertilized.

  • Chris (6a NY)
    Original Author
    6 years ago

    How about these temps, Peter? We've experienced 3 seasons in 1!

  • tanazone5bny
    6 years ago

    Wow, that is a gorgeous garden Signy, very nicely laid out. I am jealous that you could start in February!

    I have updated photos of my raised bed garden that my husband has been building. The last thing to do will be getting rid of some of the massive amounts of gravel at the foundation, and hiding that gravel behind a little stone wall. In the meantime, most of my veggies are doing well, but some seem too small. I think I got off to a late start because we were still building.

    The tomatoes below are growing by leaps and bounds.

    But the cubanelle and italia peppers below which I planted the same day as the tomatoes are still very small. I am feeding the tomatoes but not anything else. Perhaps that's the problem.

    Eggplants below, also planted same day as above, are bigger than peppers but smaller than tomatoes. We're also having a bit of a cold spell again. Although I didn't take a picture of my cucumbers they haven't grown much either. I will feed everything this weekend.


    Happy broccoli below. I read LoneJack's postings on broccoli carefully!

    Very happy collards, such a beautiful plant.
    The view from the second floor. Will start removing excess gravel and building a stone wall soon.

    The view from the inside. Used pea gravel on the paths.

    Have worked long hours all week, hence fewer posts from me. Dreaming of the weekend.


  • LoneJack Zn 6a, KC
    6 years ago

    The weekend is almost here Tana! Your garden is gorgeous! Don't feed your plants too much or they will get fat! Seriously, over fertilizing can result in big, green, and bushy plants but very little fruiting on the nightshade plants (Peppers, Toms, Eggplant). I usually feed at plant out time with Tomato Tone and then don't feed again until they start setting fruit. Brassica like your collards and broccoli do like to be fed with nitrogen every couple weeks.

    If I recall, you planted everything in late May or so? Peppers often go thru more transplant shock than Tomatoes and Eggplant and just sit there for a couple weeks. They will usually take off when the weather is consistently warm.

    You might want to get some cages or stakes on those tomatoes soon!!!

  • Chris (6a NY)
    Original Author
    6 years ago

    Your garden looks incredible!! Well done.

    The temps have been very cool lately, Tana, so the warm weather lovers are going to take their time growing. It starts warming up again next week. It actually fell into the 40's last night.

    Where did you get your pea gravel from, Tana?

  • yolos - 8a Ga. Brooks
    6 years ago

    LoneJack - I see you have a soaker hose on your Provider Beans. I know temps, soil, mulch etc affect how often you water, but I would like to ask you how long you run your soaker hose and how often. I am having a hard time judging how long to let it run. It seems that the part of the bed closest to the connection gets watered real well and the end portion not so much.

  • LoneJack Zn 6a, KC
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Yes, I believe it is one of my 5/8" soakers which work much better, last longer, and water faster than the smaller diameter soakers which sometimes do as you say and don't provide as much at the end of the hose. I have only had to use it 2 times on the beans but now that it is getting hot and they are starting to set beans I want them to get one inch every 5 days or so, so the beans form well.

    I run them for about 75 minutes. How much water that 75 minutes provides I am not exactly sure but that is about how long it takes for the water to start to run out around the bottom of the raised bed. I don't have a pressure reducer on my faucet but I just barely turn it on. There is 300' of hose going from the faucet to the garden as well.

    Sorry, no new picture.

    Provider beans

    Garden pictures · More Info

  • Peter (6b SE NY)
    6 years ago

    It amazes me how much people water their gardens... I think I have watered once this entire season so far... no, it was twice.

    This weather is over the top nuts. Mother nature can't decide what season it is. It was spring in the winter, then winter in the spring, then it was summer in the spring, now it is spring in the summer. My peppers and eggplants are pretty lousy compared to last year. My tomatoes are small too. That's not just the weather though, I didn't harden them off well and there are a lot of pests. Everything else seems to be coping with the weather ok though.

  • LoneJack Zn 6a, KC
    6 years ago

    "now it is spring in the summer"

    It IS still spring :)

    I haven't really had to water much so far until the last week other than keeping new seedlings and seedings moist but that may be changing now. We have a good chance of rain on Tuesday morning and then not much chance after that in the 15 day forecast.

    90+ degree heat + no rain = Water garden more

  • Peter (6b SE NY)
    6 years ago

    I've got this overwintered leek that bunched out and is now scaping. Should I try to harvest?

    My wife has been harvesting the lettuce by the leaf.

    Another small but hopefully tasty head of Green Magic.

    Gonna start the pea harvest tomorrow.

    Potatoes and beets.

    Here are the onions that started this thread. :)

  • Peter (6b SE NY)
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Peppers and eggplants finally starting to take off after setbacks due to early planting and insufficient hardening off (had a transplant deadline..) and pests. Finally getting the cages on.

  • tanazone5bny
    6 years ago

    Glad to hear yours are finally starting to take off. I think I planted mine a bit early and it's been a weird, chilly spring up here. Did try to fatten them up with some liquid feed this weekend, teehee.

    Chris, I got my pea gravel at Woodstock Landscaping in West Hurley, off Route 28. They have decent prices and are easy on delivery.

  • Chris (6a NY)
    Original Author
    6 years ago
    Started some Kaboko cabbage indoors a couple weeks ago. Doing pretty well.
  • Signy Frances (zone 7a / NoVa)
    6 years ago

    Those look great! Are they for a fall harvest? I am wondering when to start my fall things now that my peas are over.

  • Chris (6a NY)
    Original Author
    6 years ago
    Thanks! Yup, I'm going to setup the fall bed after the garlic is harvested.

    I'll also direct sow a few cabbage seeds in July as well. I will do spinach, escarole and another variety of kale, once my other 2 varieties of kale are taken out.
  • ZachS. z5 Platteville, Colorado
    6 years ago

    All your guy's broccoli looks real good, gives me hope for mine! Colorado's front range is tough for "cool" season stuff we often go from 30° and snow to solid 90s° overnight it seems. But mine look alright. I also grew bay meadows and I think Johnny's says they hold up well in the heat. Hopefully so, we're in the 90's with no sign of it letting up but the heads are still small, maybe a couple-three inches across. I will throw shade cloth over them this weekend and maybe buy myself some more time.

    Keep up all the good work folks! Looks like everyone has had a pretty banner spring season so far!

  • habjolokia z 6b/7
    6 years ago




  • Peter (6b SE NY)
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Nice stuff Hab. Looks like some warmer weather is an order for you.

    Red Ace beets

    The leafminers went for my poor columbine.

    Green Magic made a nice sized head.

    Quickstart Cabbage right behind

    Zucchini... it begins.

    Fortex pole beans and Tohya soybeans

    Onions are bulbing

  • Chris (6a NY)
    Original Author
    6 years ago
    Wow those are some nice beets, Peter!

    All of your stuff is a good deal further along than mine. Your zucchini and pole beans especially.
  • Peter (6b SE NY)
    6 years ago

    The zucchini is really flying along... 40 days and it is just about ready to start producing. The winter squash is quite a bit slower.

    There is definitely a noticeable step in climate between here and where you are... it's amazing how many local climates there are in even the 100 mile NY radius.

  • LoneJack Zn 6a, KC
    6 years ago

    Great looking pics all. Those beets do look really good Peter and I don't really care for beets. With the 90+ heat we are having here I can't fathom still having any cool weather crops growing.

    Zach - I hope those Bay Meadows broccoli are able to hang in there and finish up for you. Sounds like you are having the same heat as we are here. It's too early for this kind of heat!

  • Peter (6b SE NY)
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Beets are not really a cool weather crop IME. Yes they tolerate the cold, but I have tried growing them for fall and they don't work. They need the heat and long days to make a nice root, the foliage is less vigorous in cool weather too. You could definitely grow beets next year if you wanted :)

    We are hitting 90 now. The lettuce except Muir is all bolting and almost finished being harvested. The peas are hanging in there... though they are probably done flowering. IME what takes down the peas is when the nights stay warm... we are still dropping into the 50s overnight (which is unusual for late June.) My Green Magic should pump out little side shoots all season long.

  • tanazone5bny
    6 years ago

    Beautiful pics, Pete, I'm always glad when pictures are posted here. Question, what will you plant in place of the lettuce and peas and whatever else you have that's just about done?

  • tanazone5bny
    6 years ago

    My cucumbers are the only thing not seeming to grow well. I have two types planted, though I can't remember the names at the moment and I can't see the label in the picture. The four on the left are a pickling variety and the majority of them are a regular straight vine growing


    cuke. But they are all maybe six inches tall, and now most of them are flowering which is good except they are so short there's not even enough room for a cucumber to grow before hitting the soil. We had made this trellis out of cattle fencing and put it behind the plants hoping they'd grab on and climb up the trellis. Then we realized the sun is the other way and the plants were leaning away from the trellis. So we lifted the trellis up and put it over the cucumbers and poked the plants through the trellis. They still grew very little since then but are at least flowering. Clearly we've done something wrong, maybe they hate the metal trellis. It's my first time growing cucumbers (guess it shows).

  • Peter (6b SE NY)
    6 years ago

    Thank you Tana!

    I will be replacing my peas and lettuce and carrots with more peas and lettuce and carrots for the Fall. The carrots will go in about 3 weeks, the lettuce and peas around August 1st.

    I planted some cucumbers this year for the first time, and mine aren't any better than yours, so don't ask me. :)

  • Signy Frances (zone 7a / NoVa)
    6 years ago

    Well...I don't have a *ton* of experience, but I did harvest 10 cucumbers from 8 plants yesterday, so I'll chime in.

    1) Is this your final spacing for these cucumbers? I can't tell 100% in that picture, but it looks like there's about 4" of space between plants. A vining (trellis) cucumber is a biggish plant and its heart desires freedom and liberty. Can you move plants until each one gets at least 2' of space?

    2) Is it quite sunny in that spot? If it's not, they might not really thrive. Some spots count as shade for low-growing plants, but once plants get tall they can reach full sunlight. If it's like that, then maybe everything will get delightful once they reach the trellis.

    3) If it looks like they're not climbing the trellis, I really doubt that it's because of the trellis material. My cucumber vines didn't throw out tendrils until they were about 8" tall, and I put the bottom rung of my trellis about 10" off the ground. It worked quite well and they're well on their way up the twine now. So maybe they are just not climbing because they are small.

    I'm growing cucumbers "Summer Dance" (8 plants) and "Marketmore 76" (4 plants), spaced 2' apart in all directions, in a double row in a low raised bed mulched with used chicken bedding, and trellised on a wooden frame strung with jute twine. It is going well enough that I plan to do the same thing next year.

  • Signy Frances (zone 7a / NoVa)
    6 years ago

    Also Tana, what a lovely layout your garden has...I dream of making raised beds as tidy and high as that someday. I'm sure everything will flourish eventually!

  • LoneJack Zn 6a, KC
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Yes tana they do seem a little crowded. If you can manage to get a pair of scissors thru the fencing you might want to thin them a bit but 2' spacing wouldn't leave you with much. 6" spacing should still leave you with several left.

    Did you find out what variety that you planted? Are they sending out tendrils yet? The leaves appear to be pretty small for a cucumber so maybe it is one of the bush types or compact vining types.

  • OldDutch (Zone 4 MN)
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    They are starting to vine just like they are supposed to, including tendrils already showing in the tallest one, if one looks closely at the one just to the right of the middle. They may be a little crowded but 2' spacing is just a waste of space, especially since you are trellising. Don't worry about the first blossoms either; those are almost always male blossoms that will never set fruit. Unless you are growing the parthos, cucumbers need to be developed quite a bit farther before they start throwing female flowers.

    I guess I would thin every other one leaving a bit more space between the plants on the slicer side. Be sure to water and feed generously; there is not much root space so you have to provide special care. In the future maybe 4 plants of a single variety would be better in that small a space.

  • LoneJack Zn 6a, KC
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I see the tendril now when I blow it up. Also saw some weeds that need to be pulled...with that close spacing you definitely do not want the plants to also have to complete with weeds for water, sun, root space, and nutrients.

  • Carol Baker
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I harvested my lone lettuce plant as a salad for two. I did not plant it. It survived the winter as a seed from last year.

    A year ago Fall, I gathered a lot of garden brush into the driveway and mulched it with my lawn mower. I guess one of the plants was an overgrown lettuce/seeded plant. Last Spring, I had a driveway side harvest of rogue lettuce plants.

  • tanazone5bny
    6 years ago

    Thank you each and everyone of you for very helpful comments and guidance. That's the virtue of a blog like this, having so many experienced gardeners to turn to for help. I will space them further apart, probably moving some another location. It's not as sunny there as I would like, but since the tomato plants took off I thought it was sun enough for everything. I might be wrong on that point. I just noticed the tendrils last night when I got home, and am finding several growing some more in the last two days so I hope I'm over the early hump. Got a series of hot sunny days here so that is helping. I will make sure I feed them this weekend having focused mostly on feeding the nightshades, so that might help as well. The seeds I planted were from Botanical Interests and the first four was Homemade Pickles. The slicers I cooked while trying to harden off so I ended up buying Marketmore. I did not know about first male flowers, thank you!

    I have to be honest, the soil we purchased sucks. It has sand in it but not a scrap of organic matter and it's full of weed seeds. We were going to buy mushroom soil, but we ended up with this sandy loam that I think is just dirt with sand mixed in it and a bit of clay. So we bought a 1000 lbs. of manure to try to improve the situation but simply don't have my own compost (yet) and had no more money to buy anything else to amend the soil. So I'm feeding with organic feeds, Espoma and Mater Magic and such, and weeding an awful lot. Expecting to be able to do better for the soil for next season but in the meantime it's true, the weeding is constant with this soil. My husband wants to take down some trees to help with the sun, so that'll be another project hopefully for the fall.

  • Peter (6b SE NY)
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Weeding is a constant in any soil. The only thing that helps that is mulch.

    Sparx and Adriana were bolting. Its been a good lettuce year. The Muir is holding strong no problem. Still have some later planted Adriana holding on.

    The snap peas are still producing and they have been hard to keep up with. They have been as prolific as any bean this year.

  • Chris (6a NY)
    Original Author
    6 years ago

    That's great, Peter. What kind of snap peas did you grow?

    I gotta say, leafy greens are holding strong here too. Maybe it's our cool nights. I also have them in a part-shade spot, with a lightweight cover over them.



  • Peter (6b SE NY)
    6 years ago

    You have a cover over your lettuce? It always amazes me how the home grown lettuce is crawling with various bugs, but none seem to be actually damaging the plant.

    I grow the original Sugar Snaps.

    Cabbage is just about ready. "Quickstart"

  • Chris (6a NY)
    Original Author
    6 years ago
    Yeah over my kale. It's been doing very well. I trim back a couple salads worth of it every so often. I need to protect it because rodents mowed it down last year.

    That cabbage looks great!! Speaking of which...would you sow cabbage now for a fall harvest?
  • Peter (6b SE NY)
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I haven't grown cabbage for a Fall harvest, but it would depend on the variety... they vary pretty wildly on DTM. It is definitely time to start the longer maturing brassicas (like Brussels)

    Carrot time

    Bolero

    These Red Ace beets are a real keeper for me.

  • Allison NWNJ 6a
    6 years ago

    Garden is going strong here. Sugar snaps are pumping out peas, lettuce is beautiful, onions bulbing up, tomatoes are covered in green fruit. Pulled a few early carrots and potatoes today. My Pink Bumblebee and Georgia Streak tomatoes still don't look as healthy as i would like, but I can't figure out what's wrong with them. Today's harvest

  • Peter (6b SE NY)
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Looks nice Allison.

    I pulled up my first dead Red Gold potato plant, where I planted them close together (8"), and they were very tiny, but there was a good amount of them, maybe about 2 lbs, perfect for a single roasting whole. Not really that impressed, but it was the runt of the litter.

    The peas are just about done... one more picking. But wow what a bumper crop year for them. I froze plenty.

  • LoneJack Zn 6a, KC
    6 years ago

    Nice looking harvests!!! Those Bolero look really nice Peter. I have Bolero seed for this fall that I will be planting in about a month.

    We finally got some rain here yesterday afternoon. I started hearing some thunder a little before noon and went out to the garden and it was very dark to the north so I decided to quickly pull all of my remaining 50 or so onions before they got rained on. I got them all pulled and hung in my shed just as the sky opened up.

    I also pulled all of my carrots yesterday morning. Both the Scarlet Nantes and Little Finger had started to bolt in the last week so I wanted to get them out before they developed woody cores. Not a great harvest as they were not planted in an ideal location but I got about 13 lbs. from a 10 square feet area. We had some with dinner last night and they were good but not nearly as sweet as fall harvested carrots.

    A deer found my cantaloupe overnight on Saturday and nibbled off the growth tips of a few of them but didn't touch the beans right next to them. I had bought 10 yards of tulle on Thursday to cover the melons and my squash to protect them from pests but I didn't get it on until Sunday. Hopefully the tulle and hoops will deter the deer as well. All of the melons should recover except one. I needed to thin them anyway :)

  • Peter (6b SE NY)
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I grew the Bolero last fall and they did great. It was unexpected too because the foliage was small, but the carrots were nice and big. I grow my carrots in a raised bed amended with compost and no fertilizer at all.

    We really need the rain too! There is a little in the forecast but not enough. Organic fertilizer doesn't work well without it.

    I hilled up my leeks yesterday, they are looking real nice. Almost ready for an early harvest.

  • LoneJack Zn 6a, KC
    6 years ago

    I've got the Bolero, Napoli, and Danvers Half Long seeds for fall carrots and will be putting in 20' row of each so I should be swimming in carrots come October. I have a couple inches of compost on the carrot bed now that I need to till in now that we have had some rain to mellow the soil a little. It is the bed that I dug the potatoes out of so it is pretty chunked up at the moment.

    We have a couple more days this week with 50-60% chance of rain. I wasn't expecting the rain yesterday so I had watered a few things on Saturday and Sunday morning. We got less than 1/2" I think.

    I am running out of garden. Just Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Peppers, Beans, and Leeks left producing. Yellow squash will be a few more weeks yet.

    I did start my Brussels Sprouts 10 days ago and they are about ready for pot up.

  • Chris (6a NY)
    Original Author
    6 years ago

    Great harvests!

    Peter, I'm jealous of your beets and carrots. My beets were thrown in a spot that was good for the beet greens to grow, but they didn't bulb up well at all. I have to remember to put them in a spot where the perennial garden won't impede their growth. Do you fertilize them at all?

    Looks like I can finally put the watering can away for a little bit.

    Any opposition to starting a new thread, and maybe having it be a summer harvest/fall planting discussion?

  • Peter (6b SE NY)
    6 years ago

    Sure go for it.

    I didn't fertilize the beets or carrots at all. I may have put some Plant Tone down in the fall in the beet spot, but I don't remember.

  • Chris (6a NY)
    Original Author
    6 years ago

    Do you use Plant Tone as like a universal fertilizer?

  • Chris (6a NY)
    Original Author
    6 years ago

    Started a new thread! Here's the link Seed Starting Time VI